Los Angeles-based Alo Yoga is taking on Canadian brand Lululemon head-to-head as the US retailer builds its first store in Vancouver. Alo Yoga is opening stores across the country and by the end of the year it will have a retail presence in the Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto markets, with Montreal also said to be a target market for Alo.
The Vancouver Alo Yoga store will occupy a coveted position on the upper mall level of CF Pacific Centre, in a 5,400 square foot retail space between Canadian outerwear brand Mackage and French women’s fashion brand Maje. Retailers on the same floor include Canada Goose, Harry Rosen, Zegna, Jo Malone, Max Mara, APM Monaco, Aritzia and others. Alo Yoga will replace an Apple store which relocated within the mall to a much larger flagship location several months ago.
Competitor Lululemon operates a 3,530 square foot storefront downstairs at CF Pacific Centre, and the Vancouver-based brand also has a larger flagship store nearby at the southeast corner of Robson and Burrard Streets. Lululemon, with significant market share in Canada, has sales exceeding $8 billion USD.
In comparison, Alo Yoga is a much smaller company globally, with sales exceeding $250 million USD. Nevertheless, Alo is being aggressive with its Canadian expansion which will see stores in major markets after opening its first location in Toronto last year.
In Vancouver, both Alo and Lululemon will compete with Gap-owned Athleta, which recently opened a store on Robson Street as part of an expansion for the retailer across Canada. Athleta’s price point is lower than the two competitors as it targets different demographics, meaning that the market will likely support all brands.
Alo’s first Canadian location opened in September of 2022 at the northeast corner of Bloor and Bay Streets at the base of the 60 Bloor St. W. office tower, where a Gap store had operated for years. Alo’s second Canadian location opened a couple of months later at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Toronto has been deemed an important market for Alo Yoga — a CF Toronto Eaton Centre location will be opening soon, and later this year Alo will open a store at CF Sherway Gardens.
Alberta will see at least two Alo Yoga locations opening this year. That includes a 6,100 square foot storefront at West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, as well as a store in Calgary at CF Chinook Centre. Landlords have told Retail Insider that Alo Yoga has also been looking for space on Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal, and it’s not yet known if the brand has secured a space there. Given the page and expansiveness of the expansion, the Ottawa market could also see a store potentially.
In an exclusive article in WWD early last year, Alo co-founder and CEO Danny Harris said that the company is looking to open about a “half a dozen” more stores including Toronto. That expansion appears to be more extensive now, given how many locations are opening in Canada alone.
Early on, Alo Yoga chose street-front locations for its stores in the United States, though that strategy has clearly grown to include a significant presence in enclosed shopping centres. Canada is expected to have at least seven Alo Yoga locations by the end of the year and all but one will be in major malls, four of which are owned by Cadillac Fairview.
Alo Yoga has 30 stores in the US market at press time, which is up significantly from the 13 stores that Alo had when Retail Insider broke the news of its Canadian entry in early 2022. Alo’s website indicates that two more stores will soon open in the US.
Alo Yoga was founded in Los Angeles in 2007 by entrepreneurs Danny Harris and Marco Degeorge who continue to own and bankroll the business. The company says that it makes “the most technologically advanced yoga clothing in the world” with a “studio-to-street” ethos. Home workouts are possible with Alo Moves, an at-home fitness concept with a $30 monthly membership for unlimited yoga, fitness and meditation.